US97 Klamath Falls

This stretch of US97 has been a problem for Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) for decades. The cliffs above the road were prone to rockslide and fatalities were common as well as railroad closures. The train's tracks are in-between the road and Klamath Lake. The rockslides were a big problem. The top of the mountain is a sacred Native American site and it was closed to any disturbance. An additional difficult design parameter imposed by ODOT was the maximum reinforcing length of the Reinforced Soil Slope set at 20 feet. The maximum wall height was 162 feet and this was on top of a MSE wall that was 20 feet in height. The total wall height was 182 feet. A gabion rockslide barrier was placed on top of the lower MSE wall. Also, the lower wall had a precast concrete face.

This wall was massive and the contractor had big you know what's to build it. These pictures really don't come close to giving the true feel for how high this was and how fearless the builders had to be. My hat will always come off to K & E Excavating and how they made the building of this project a success.